May 18, 2010

advertising fake passports and other puzzles?

Well.... as frequent readers know, I collect data on how much it costs to purchase a set of Identity documents. I do this so that we know what the rough barrier to totally breaching the so-called "Identity Requirement" costs. So that we can feed that number into our construction of security models, and not get caught out.

In short, my research suggests strongly that the cost is about a thousand, in any of the major currencies.

Some reader in that business has just fed a comment into a post, advertising exactly that. My first thought was to remove it, as I don't like spam and adverts on the site ... but it is precisely on topic! In the spirit of research and data collection, I went to the site (which is at fake passports dot eu) and it has these prices, in Euros:

Finland 900
France 900
Germany 1000
Israel 700
Malaysia 700
Netherlands 800
New Zealand 800
South Africa 700
Switzerland 1200
UK 1000

I'm guessing that site will be complained about soon enough, and they'll lose their domain, so I've collected the prices quickly.

Which, ruminating over ones morning coffee, as one does, does rather lead to some dilemmas, rather! Is advertising such fake goods against some law, somewhere? Possibly, but advertising is more a problem of pressure than law, as generally, making and selling fake goods is a fraud against the owner of the real ones. The problem with accepting the anti-advertising argument is that it then allows the owners of the real goods to perpetuate a type of deception on the buyers: that the goods are unfakeable, which becomes a serious deception on those who are reliant on the goods.

Alternatively, who does one complain to? One cannot complain to ones local bobby, because he wouldn't know what to do or who to talk to. He's probably unaware of why such a thing is useful, having likely not gone further than Costa del Sol, with his s/o. No such luck at the Federal level, either, because almost certainly they have no jurisdiction, the shop being in some other country. A bit of a central flaw in the whole passport concept, really.

There isn't a sort of global passport policeman, because this is one of those odd areas where each country maintains its own sovereignty, with ferocity, not withstanding their lack of sovereignty in any place the passport is likely to be used.

However, it has been pointed out in the past that people who don't like these fake passports, among other troubling truths found on this site, are watching this site! Aha! Problem solved, so this is perhaps the fastest way to report to all.

Another problem. We don't know if the goods are real, or a setup to shake out lightweight players. Given that in some countries, the practice of entrapment is considered legal, and evidence derived from entrapment might be entertainable in court, it's not clear how the hapless customer would prove the quality of the wares, before purchasing. At least, none of my readers will take that risk, and especially considering the path beaten by Shahida for Panorama. Good work, that!

Finally, for those who've read this far and are looking for the really interesting question, it is this: is the variation of prices seen above a result of supply factors or demand factors?

Now back to your normal channel...

Posted by iang at May 18, 2010 07:18 PM | TrackBack


You forget to mention another use for the fake passport site.

It is a conveniant place for people to go look at images of the various nations passports.

With regards to fake passports the price of ~100/year is actually not unreasonable if viewed as a simple expense...

However there are a number of issues with most fake passports in that they have a medium length shelf life, and thus a renewal issue arises wich almost invariably means going and finding a new "supplier" which might involve considerable extra expense you do not include in your price guide.

[There are by the way techniques you can use to get a passport in a different name from a different country quite within the rules of the countries concerned which obviates the problem as you can renew it]

There is also another issue with fakes if you use one for opening a bank account or even bying a mobile phone (Yup the UK's "Carphone warehouse" used to insist on it) they photocopy the ID page...

And of course in more recent times the RFID and bio-metrics have made things a tads more difficult for the suppliers of fakes as oposed to clones.

But if you have the time the only document you realy require is a "Birth certificate" and for obvious reasons (all babies look like Winston Churchill ;) it is actually not tied in any way to an individual thus is easily transferable, and as it does not expire and copies are relativly easy to obtain perhaps the best document to start with...

Posted by: Clive Robinson at June 2, 2010 12:10 AM

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Posted by: Fake Passports at August 24, 2011 03:05 AM
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